Kialoa GL Surf II Hi-VisGET IT
Best for the Long Haul: This easy operator is the evolution of a design when surf legend Gerry Lopez started crafting his ultimate paddle-surf blade like a true shaping master (from a block of foam) alongside Kialoa Founder Dave Chun back in 2017. The result is a bigger 90-square-inch blade with a larger angle that’s noticably smooth. And that smoothness — which carries through to rounded, reinforced edges to keep your board rails ding-free — is not just to the touch; it also impacts the knife-through-butter ease on catch and release, plus while planing along the back of waves. The GL Surf II still has the DNA of a Chun classic. That is, a slender teardrop profile with symmetrical faces, a little flex, and said effortless catch, which doesn’t overwhelm with immediate power, but provides consistent output for the long haul — a more sustainable stroke, if you will. Not unlike that go-to, versatile middle gear on your mountain bike. Manufactured by Werner, a fellow family-run, Pacific Northwest company with deep roots in kayak and SUP paddling communities, this standup surf-specific paddle has been updated with a high-vis option on the stiff, all-carbon shaft (the T-grip and foam core blades are also carbon). It’s ready to be loaded with heavy strokes from all angles that larger surf demands. The 20-ounce paddle jumps light and almost too smooth from hand to hand while switching sides—you may want to add some wax for those white-knuckle days. When the swell drops, this is the paddle that makes long days easy. — D.S.
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